We'll need a lift, say Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We'll need a lift, say Hawks

By Robert Grant 09/07/2010 03:18:26 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn have admitted they will need a significant midfield form lift to overcome AFL powerhouse Geelong on Saturday following the loss of skipper Sam Mitchell.

Mitchell was ruled out for two games earlier this week when the club decided he needed surgery on a broken hand.

The Hawks' problems in the middle of the ground have been compounded by the fact that the Cats have been able to recall captain Cameron Ling for the clash at the MCG.

Ling returns with ruckman Brad Ottens and defender Harry Taylor while Hawthorn will strengthen its backline with the addition of Campbell Brown and Josh Gibson.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson says the club is high on confidence after its seven-game winning streak but says Mitchell's loss might be critical.

"Someone needs to lift and fill his shoes because he was tremendous for us last week and the week before against the Bombers as well," Clarkson said.

Clarkson acknowledged Geelong's bolstered line-up but remained confident the side could finally break its drought against the premiers, who they have not defeated since the 2008 grand final.

"They're three important players for the Cats...but we just back our structures," Clarkson said.

"We've had really good contests against Geelong for four or five years now and I don't expect it's going to be any different tomorrow afternoon when we run out against them.

"We played really well against them the last three or four occasions and we've only been able to get one win in that time, albeit it was a pretty important one, being a grand final

"But we've been in winning positions against them and they're just such a quality side they're never out of the game."

"We've started to stabilise our side a little bit, we've got a good group of players available to us this week, and we're going to see how we go against the premier side in the competition."

Clarkson warned, however, that he had never seen Hawthorn in a better position in terms of personnel.

"I think at the present time we've only got four or five guys on our total list injured, which is a little bit unusual for us.

"Usually we've got 10 or 12 out so we're in as healthy a position as we've been since I've been coach of this club.

"It's great to have that depth and strength to go from week to week."

Hawthorn can also look forward to a lift in their ruck stocks with the availability soon of Simon Taylor who makes a comeback from a broken leg when he plays for Box Hill in the VFL.

"Simon will certainly play at Box Hill over the next week or two and then from that point on we'll just see how his form is and how the form of our other ruckmen are at senior level and see whether he can come in and make a contribution for us," he said.

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